So you’ve got a beautiful e-commerce website, you’ve put in all the work getting it together and now your products are out there for the whole world to see. There’s only one problem…you’re not selling anything!
Lots of companies pay to have e-commerce websites developed, where they can have a platform for their products to be purchased online. While many of these websites may look flashy and visually impressive, businesses are often making completely avoidable mistakes that badly affect the performance of their online store.
This year there has been an unprecedented increase in online sales due to the fact we’ve all been stuck at home. There’s never been a better time to go online but there’s also never been so much competition. If you want to succeed in the competitive world of online shopping, it’s time to think about why you’re not already successful and what you need to do about it.
1. Not maintaining your website
Let’s start easy. While your website might look beautiful and have a compelling layout, you can’t simply leave it there without any ongoing maintenance. This is especially the case if your website was designed on a CMS like WordPress. There are security risks, file errors and competing websites with better SEO.
What can I do?
Login to your website at least once a month and ensure your plugins, themes and software are appropriately updated. Check your website’s security settings and be 100% sure that your payment processing works so buyers are able to make purchases.
Update your website’s images and meta descriptions. If you want your website to compete with similar brands, you’ll need to take steps to optimise your pages for SEO and this will include meta titles and ALT tags. Leaving your website alone for two years is simply not an option.
2. Thinking about yourself instead of the customer!
Far too many companies pay to have websites designed which aren’t customer-focused and instead solely reflect the interests of the company. People in B2B often don’t realise that their digital public image is muddled and overcrowded with technical jargon and useless information about their business. If you’re trying to create an online sales funnel, then don’t risk confusing, boring or even irritating your potential customers.
What can I do?
You need to put yourself in their shoes and imagine the buyer’s journey. Who are they? What are they looking for? What do they need to know? It’s not about you after all. Reconsider the content of your website’s home and internal pages. Identify your niche audience and provide the information they need when they land on your site, as well as shedding off the unhelpful jargon-dominated paragraphs. Your website should never be a mental rubik’s cube for customers.
3. Avoiding the early stages of the buyer’s journey
Another huge mistake businesses make is to expect sales immediately from people who first land on their website. Of course, this can happen once in a blue moon, but if your website sells specialized or expensive products, it’s completely unrealistic to think people will make a transaction upon hearing about you for the first time.
Just as people like to browse through shops and make up their minds over time, the digital world of shopping is no different. A buyer needs to first become aware of your brand and products, then consider the alternatives and finally, make a decision to purchase. If you’re simply waiting for them to make their decision on day one, you’re in for an uphill struggle. It’s time to pay attention to early stage selling.
What can I do?
Put some time and effort into creating a social media presence. Post across the platforms where you think your audience are most likely to be. Take the initiative to start a small digital ads campaign, to spread awareness of your brand.
Create informative blog posts and publish them to your website and across social media. Write content that’s aimed at helping people solve a problem and will over time, build trust between them and your brand. Now you will have people engaged and informed, so selling to them will be much easier.
4. Not taking the time to measure your website’s performance
This one is crucial. There’s no point in making an effort to improve your website’s performance, or spend money on digital advertising if you’re clueless about how you’re actually going to measure it. After all, what’s the point in doing all of this if you don’t know how to tell if something is working or not. In order to see an improvement on your website sales over time, you need to first assess the starting point before you can see the finishing line.
What can I do?
The first thing your business needs to do is ensure that your site is connected to Google Analytics. Delegate someone the task of monitoring website traffic and set up goals for you to measure over time. There are various tools you can use to track your progress and learn more about your audience behavior. This is truly the most important task to increase an e-commerce website’s sales. If you don’t know how your website is performing, where your customers are coming from, or how many sales your marketing is generating, it will be nearly impossible to make substantive progress.
Okay, so maybe you’re now a little overwhelmed and thinking to yourself, ‘I can’t do all of this!’ Well don’t worry, because we don’t just write blogs. In fact, our team of experts at ITM Digital work on boosting digital sales for our clients every single day and we’re all about delivering you those results.